Power cuts

Pakistan continues to reel under a severe electricity crisis with both urban and rural areas across the country facing excruciatingly extended power outages. The load-shedding, which has hit both citizens and the industry, has forced PM Shehbaz Sharif’s government to announce an urgent plan to conserve energy, but the situation seems unchanged.

The move of the coalition government to close markets across the country at 9 pm is also not yielding results as loadshedding has reached to 12 to 14 hours in the parts of the country. The shortfall is over 5000MW currently, which is expected to rise in July, as the conditions will be hotter. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has also hinted at increasing power outages in the next month, citing rising oil and coal prices in the international market.

Pakistan has also failed to agree on a deal for natural gas supply next month. Tenders for July scrapped on high price, State-owned Pakistan LNG Ltd. scrapped a purchase tender for July shipments of liquefied natural gas after it received an offer that would’ve been the most expensive shipment ever delivered to the nation, according to traders with the knowledge of the matter.

The extremely hot weather and the prolonged power outages have forced people to hit the streets in several parts of the country, especially in Karachi, where KE has added to the nightmare of the masses. Despite sending huge bills, the electricity supply seems to be not on priority of the KE. When one contacts the city’s sole power supplier, the only answer is the “technical fault”. Here the question arises why the technical fault arises only when the temperature increases? The answer is the KE is using steel wires instead of copper, which usually get heated up during hot weather and in exceptional cases break also.

The problem of loadshedding is not new for the people of the country, since my childhood, I have been experiencing sadness and joy over power disconnection and restoration. Interestingly, my hairs have turned white is and the approach of our government has not changed…. We should minimize the line losses, and provision of free electricity units to the officers and WAPDA employees as this is the only way forward to control the crisis of power outages and ensure continued supply to the household and industrial units.

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